Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Living with Miss Opposite

My daughter was such a bubbly baby-always giggling and gurgling, having conversations with her hands, the dog, the carpet, and her dad and I, and she was very affectionate well into toddler hood. She was my partner in games against daddy, and she would laugh her head off when I made smooching sounds as I got close to kiss her goodnight. Dressing her was a snap because she liked everything that I liked and her outfits would often consist of matching hats and tights-she was a diva in the making! And the part of my day that I looked forward to the most, was rocking this little angel until she fell asleep on my shoulder-sometimes I would continue to rock because I just couldn’t part with her.

She graciously took on the role of big sister, and though we all hung on for dear life as she rocketed through the terrible threes and into her fours, generally by the end of the night we would get our loving daughter back. But time changes things-sometimes good and sometimes bad-and somewhere along the way my daughter turned into Miss Opposite.

Now this change didn’t happen over night-I noticed little alterations in her actions at first, like when she stopped giving me her wet, sloppy kisses. My husband and I would brace ourselves as she came near because she never puckered up, she just opened her mouth and planted it against our cheek-I hated it then but I wouldn't mind it now. Granted, I still rub her back and head every night just as I did when she was smaller, and I still manage to sneak a kiss in before I leave her room, but I have to sneak a kiss in because Miss Opposite doesn’t like kisses anymore, and she never returns them.

Clothing choices have become a nightmare-the days of picking an outfit for her are gone because Miss Opposite doesn’t always agree with what I think is attractive anymore, and now there are certain items of clothing that she refuses to wear like turtlenecks (they choke her), socks (she can’t stand the seams against her toes, so when I make her wear them with tennis shoes, she turns them inside out, but at least they’re on!), and over-the-head sweaters (they’re too hot). Naturally all of these particular clothing items were worn previously by Miss Opposite, but then, just like that, they are shoved to the back of her closet. Nowadays when Miss Opposite needs something new, I drag her along to the store and keep my mouth shut because if I say I like something, Miss Opposite decides she doesn’t-I make a suggestion only when asked and this assures that the item will be bought and worn.

And don’t get me started on her hair! She used to have wispy bangs and I pulled her hair back away from her face with fancy bows and ribbons, or curled it into bouncy spirals, and because it was fine and prone to knots, I kept it shorter. That shorter “do” is now down past her shoulders, and Miss Opposite tries to take care of it herself. Gone are the bangs and her hair either falls flat against the sides of her head (Miss Opposite cries if I make it too fluffy because she says I’m making her ugly), or she pulls it back into a ponytail using her customary scrunchy.

Then there is her new means of communicating, or more like the lack thereof of any real form of communication. Gone are our meaningful talks before bed, and the endless tales of the goings-on at school, and in its place are Miss Opposite’s overreactions, snide comments, and conversations like the following: “How was school today?”


“What did you do?”


“You know you have to wear black and white to your concert tomorrow, and…”

“I already know.”

“How about wearing those black gauchos, and that white turtleneck, and…”

“I’m not wearing that turtleneck, you know I don’t like turtlenecks.”

“It’s only for one hour one night, can’t you stand it for one night?”

“NO!!! I can’t wear that!”

This particular scene was played out Monday evening, and after much haggling back and forth, and all the “my mother is ruining my life” theatrics, she agreed to try the turtleneck on. I really don’t know if it fit or not-she was holding her arms out straight to show that the sleeves were too short, but by this point I was too tired to fight her anymore, and agreed to run to the mall after dinner. I must have still looked upset when my husband walked in the door, because when he found out all Miss Opposite needed was a white blouse, he agreed to take her shopping-I am still in shock over this, and even though he sent me six pictures of possible blouses on my cell, they arrived back home with a purchase.

Preparations for Tuesday night's concert were just as bad-I told Miss Opposite to go shower and wash her hair while I was getting dinner ready, but it took her three “reminders” to get moving. Miss Opposite was still sitting at the dinner table even after I told her more than once to go get dressed, and then when I wanted to dry her hair so that it looked nice instead of her usual no-style look, once again I was making her look ugly. And everything else Miss Oppositez said about this event was, well, opposite-

“Is this a combined concert for the band and chorus? We might want to leave early if that’s the case.”
“No, there will only be about 20 students involved.”

There were 90 chorus students, 70 band students, and 25 jazz band students, so multiply those numbers by at least two parents (not including siblings or grandma) and you guessed it-the place was packed, but we are used to everything being the opposite so thankfully we got to the school early.

“Where are you going to be so we can sit close?”
“I will be in the front on the right.”
We got 2nd row seats in the middle right, but when Miss Opposite filed in, she was in the front on the far left and we couldn’t see her. My husband went scouting around to get some good shots while my son and I tried to catch a glimpse of her between the bodies in front of us. I looked over the other girls and something struck me-they all looked the same, flat hair, no bangs, hmm... And when the principal ended the show, instead of waiting for us to meet her, Miss Opposite headed back to the music room and my husband had to fight the crowds and go look for her.

It was a nice concert, but Miss Opposite was still upset about her hair so I don’t recall any smiling during the event, but I’m going to watch the tape later and hope for the best. This see-saw back and forth betwen loving me(she admitted to her principal recently that I am her role model) and hating me (she snapped at me tonight saying I was going to make everyone late ), is pretty hard to take, and I am now snapping back after her comments. It also seems that the tighter I try to hold on to what once was, the more my daughter tries to pull away. When my husband asked if she had fun after the concert, Miss Opposite grunted at first, but then laughed, and for a split second I caught a glimpse of the daughter from years past, the one I know and love-Sigh...boy do I miss her.

I didn't do a couple Tuesday tunes so I thought I would add an appropriate song (or two) here.  I hope you enjoy The Beatles with Yesterday , and I am reminded about how the relationship between my daughter and I used to be like, and hopefully will be again, with Martina McBride's tearjerker, In My Daugher's Eyes.


  1. Oh my that reminds me of my daughter (especially the clothing sensitivity with the socks). I feel for you. It's like a feeling of loss as they very obviously pull away. Not an easy thing to deal with.

  2. Mothers and daughters! Tough combination, believe me... I had two of them, and we clashed all the time. I especially clashed with the one that was most like me. The teen years were the worst. Now, we are great friends and mutual admirers. You'll get there. Just grit your teeth a lot and hang in there for several years.

  3. I think I have my own little Miss Opposite forming in my house. My 4 year old REFUSES to wear a pony tail. Her hair is literally all over the place. She'll say to me, "Mom, I don't want to look stupid." Where did she get that? I think she's watching too much ICarly. I'm not looking forward to the teen years. My oldest son (12) gave me such a hard time about going to the dentist yesterday. He moaned, groaned, complained, argued, etc. After the appointment and all the grief that he gave me, he looks at me with surprise and says, "Mom, why do you look ticked off at me?" Welcome to Planet Mommy!!

    Susan, I don't know if I'm ready for this crazy roller coaster of emotions and attitude!! Who knows what to say or suggest with kids these days? Wish I could just disappear to a beautiful tropical island some days. Hugs my friend! Love the music videos. I'll always sing along to "Yesterday".

  4. Oh man... my step-daughter has yours beat! I won't even scare you with the specifics. I am NOT looking forward to my little girl growing up.... I feel for ya:)

  5. They do change so quickly don't they? We went through a clothing stage for awhile when my daughter was younger. She had her particulars and for a span of about 6 weeks she would only wear pink. It drove me crazy, but then one day something changed again and she liked other colors. Hopefully your Miss Opposite will grow out of this stage soon.

  6. You know what I like about blogs? This. You just described my daughter too. The clothes and the SOCKS! I didn't think anyone was as weird as us.

    Thank you!

    It is like the terrible two's with a very large vocabulary.

  7. AWWW Susan! I cant stop crying right now. My daughter was just turned four has also been a little emotionally strange lately. She tells me she does not like me, she grinds her teeth and at time cant even stand my presence. I was talking to my husband today about this and I could not crying. I know she is a baby and I should just ignore her but like yourself I miss my baby in my arms. I want her to sit in my lap and kiss me on the cheek and tell me how much she loves me! Your post hit the spot!!!!

    She is probably going through a phase and soon you will have your angel back!

  8. Hi Susan,

    Back again to let you know that you are the winner of the Seamless Socks giveaway on my blog. If you could shoot me an email with your shipping address (I didn't keep the last one), they will ship the socks right away.

    Congrats again!

  9. My daughter is getting more and more like this and she's only three. It's starting to worry me. I thought I had at least 10 years or so to go. She has such an attitude and is so frustrating. I'm not looking forward to her pre teen years. It scares me to death. I remember how terrible I was to my mom and I'm afraid I have it coming... :)

    Good luck with your daughter. Hopefully it's a phase that passes soon? Like, in 10 years or so? :)

    Hope everything else is going well!

  10. It made me smile when you wrote about catching a glimpse of her old self.


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